The Barn Birds with opener Matt Meighan

The Barn Birds

Jonathan Byrd and Chris Kokesh met as teachers at a song academy in Sisters Oregon in 2006. Enamored with Chris’s fiddle playing and singing, Jonathan invited her to play with him at the Sisters Folk Festival that weekend. They played two encores, and the festival audience voted them the “Encore Performer” to return the following year. The duo toured the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, and came back to Oregon to make their first recordings in a barn in Sisters. Jonathan and Chris had to stop recording when the birds in the walls erupted in song. They called themselves the Barn Birds.

Jonathan Byrd is a preacher’s son, a Gulf War Navy veteran, and a seventh generation North Carolinian whose songs you likely have heard, even if you haven’t heard Byrd sing them. The Chicago Tribune called him “one of the top 50 songwriters of the last 50 years.” The Boston Globe gushed, “This rootsy North Carolinian…displays John Prine’s gift for stark little songs that tell big, complex stories, Guy Clark’s lean melodicism, Lyle Lovett’s wry mischief, and Bill Morrissey’s knack for the revealing image.”

Chris Kokesh toured 14 years with the all-woman quartet Misty River. and helped create the signature vocal blend of this Northwest favorite. In July 2010 her latest release, October Valentine, debuted on the Folk DJ charts at #20, and Chris’s stunning songwriting, crystalline vocals, and fiddle and guitar chops distinguish her as a stand-alone talent. Onstage, Kokesh reveals the inner workings of her heart with grace and a wry sense of humor. Jeff Douglas of Oregon Public Broadcasting says, “Chris Kokesh is writing songs that stand up with the best.”

Matt Meighan

"Though the way ahead never did get clear, I guess we made it after all" sings Portland songwriter Matt Meighan, and the experience of miles traveled is easy to hear in his music. Drawing on his years as an activist, journalist, parent and poet, Matt writes tradition-steeped, thought-provoking songs that are at turns personal, political, poignant and funny, infused with a philosophical bent and an audible love of language.

A song collector as well as writer, Matt mixes his originals with songs by fellow songwriters as well as older songs from the folk and blues traditions. His commitments to good writing and "truth-telling" are clear in the songs he chooses and the songs he writes, many of which are performed by other songwriters. He recently released his second CD, Long Way 'Round.

Matt's engaging, relaxed performance style and fingerstyle acoustic guitar make him an ideal performer for house concerts and similar listening venues. He also performs as a duo, with Sherry Pendarvis on upright bass, and adds a fiddle or mandolin player to perform as a trio.

After earning an MFA in poetry at the Jack Keruoac school of Disembodied Poetics (Naropa University) in Boulder, Colorado, Matt turned his hand to songwriting and became a signifcant part of the Boulder acoustic music scene, organizing monthly songwriter gatherings and hosting numerous songwriter showcases. In 2003 moved to Portland, where he performs regularly, teaches a popular "Songwriting as Truth Telling" class, and hosts the weekly Songwriter Roundup show at Artichoke Music.

Matt began playing songs while still in high school in Chicago in the 1960s. His musical education began at the Old Town School of Folk Music and haunting the blues and jazz clubs of 1960s Chicago. He has since traveled the world with his music, performing in venues and on street corners across the U.S., Australia and Italy, and has regularly brought his songs to the pubs of Ireland over the last 20 years. He and his wife Nancy met at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville Texas, which they attend every year. Since moving to Portland Matt has become both a popular performer and an ardent supporter of the Portland-area acoustic music community.

Durable songs to get you through many road miles"
- Southeast Examiner, Portland Oregon

"One of the most honest voices in folk music."
- Songwriter Danny Shafer, Boulder Colorado

"Tweaks your head into finally agreeing with your heart." - Wendy W., Austin TX

$15 advance • $20 door


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